Rex Grossman is not a great football player, but there is something compelling and immensely watchable about the way he approaches the game.
Over his nine-year career, Grossman has thrown 56 interceptions and only 52 touchdowns. He has displayed the same type mentality as gun-slinging quarterbacks such as Brett Favre and Jeff George, but always lacked the talent required to achieve success through that style of play.
One would think that considering his propensity for turning the ball over, which is the reason Mike Shanahan benched him for three games earlier this season, Grossman would show some willingness to adapt, to limit the number of risks he takes during a game. But that simply isn't the case and probably never will be.
Consider the first play of Sunday's game against the New York Giants. The Redskins coaches called a flee flicker for Santana Moss, but the trickery did not fool the Giants defense in the least bit. Corey Webster, who was in coverage, did not bite on the fake and was running with Moss step for step on the play.
In that situation, most quarterbacks would have simply thrown the ball away. But not Grossman. He assessed the coverage and then chucked the ball in a somewhat nonchalant manner toward Moss' direction. Webster came up with the interception to no one's surprise, and Grossman trotted off the field as if nothing had happened.
Grossman would end up throwing a second interception later in the first quarter on a similarly ill-advised deep throw intended for Jabar Gaffney, but the two interceptions didn't seem to faze him in the least bit. He continued to fire away with reckless abandon until Kyle Shanahan legislated a more careful offensive approach by calling a disproportionate amount of running plays in the fourth quarter, and his approach ended up paying off.
The Redskins offense put up 23 points, which was more than enough to outscore an anemic Giants offensive unit whose only touchdown came long after the game's outcome had been decided.
Such is Grossman's approach to quarterbacking. It's an approach that values instinct over smart decision making and is markedly carefree. Even Grossman's pitches to running backs often seem to lack any sense of urgency and at times appear somewhat what perilous.
Grossman is the type of player who is never reluctant to pull the trigger. He has his moments—his accurate passes helped the Redskins convert eight out of 15 third downs against the Giants—but the positive aspects he brings to the football field will never outweigh the negatives.
Still, I can't help but be somewhat captivated by Grossman's unflinching approach to the game. He seems determined to play his way, even if that means he will end up holding a clipboard on the sidelines after this season.
The irony is that if fellow Redskins quarterback John Beck had showed the same willingness to take risks, he may have been able to retain the starting quarterback job. Beck has a big arm, but in his three starts, he seemed allergic to throwing the ball downfield despite the fact that his receivers were able to get open.
Beck instead opted to check down on almost every other play, which is why Roy Helu set the Redskins single game record for receptions by catching 14 passes for 105 yards.
Neither Beck nor Grossman is a viable long-term solution for the Redskins quarterback woes, but there's no question that the team is a lot more fun to watch when Grossman is under center. For that, I salute him.
Grossman played an integral part in the Redskins victory over the Giants. Here are four players and groups of players that also made big contributions in Sunday's win.